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Gonski response a cruel hoax

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MEDIA RELEASE Gonski response a cruel hoax

The Gillard Government’s reported response to the Gonski Review is a cruel hoax without a clear commitment to maintain indexation at current levels said the Shadow Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne.

“After six months neither the federal government nor any state government has committed to the additional funding or maintaining indexation at current levels,” Mr Pyne said.

“In fact, the states have told the Gillard Government they must stump up all the funding,” he said.

“With the current funding arrangements due to expire at the end of next year, schools need certainty to plan ahead, not more empty promises.

“The report today by Deloitte Access has belled the cat on the non-existent Budget surplus, so it will require billions of dollars in additional cuts or a tax increase in order for the funding to be found for Gonski in next year’s budget.

“The Government has not ruled out adopting the Greens plan to cut fuel subsidies and increase the carbon and mining taxes to find the additional $6.5 billion per year reportedly needed.

“Other projections have put the Gonski price tag at closer to $113 billion over the twelve year life of the agreement if indexation is maintained at current levels.

“If indexation is not kept at current levels then within a few years non-government schools will begin to lose money in real terms, forcing up school fees, threatening jobs in the non-government school sector and even forcing some schools to close.

“With millions of Australians already struggling with cost of living pressures, higher school fees and school closures will be a terrible blow to families.

“Only the Coalition is offering funding certainty, with the same quantum of funding plus indexation maintained at current levels,” Mr Pyne said.

July 23, 2012

Media contact: Adam Howard 0400 414 833